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||IMDB Rating: 6.3/10 from 33 votes
||Release: 30 October 2013 (USA) /
||Genre: Documentary, Sport
||Director: Patrick Dahl,
||Synopsis: 17 Seconds' is a unique project that doesn't just document the Stanley Cup win, but tells the story from an inside vantage point, something not usually captured in sports films. The access and rapport the Banner Collective team has with the Blackhawks players and organization ultimately gives fans an intimate look into the thrill of a historic victory and the subsequent celebration. Written by Chicago Blackhawks
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17 Seconds is a favorable showcase of what wound up being an extremely
memorable year for the NHL when it looked like anything but. With the
NHL lockdown halting the season several months, resulting in half a
season of hockey, I was one of the many expecting a relatively lame,
rushed season. I certainty didn't expect to see my hometown team take
home the Stanley Cup for the second time in four years.
I'll be the first to admit I'm an on-off hockey fan who got into the
sport, admittedly, when Joel Quenneville took over the coaching
position of the Blackhawks in 2008. No longer did the Hawks seem to be
the mediocre, overlooked team they once were. They seemed more
polished, sneakier, and more breakneck thanks to Coach Q's coaching
techniques and the new line of players on the Hawks. I remember my
father would get dozens of free tickets for Blackhawk games from
business representatives. We went to maybe two games and threw the rest
away. Now, Blackhawks tickets - even for the standing room - are like
When I get the time, I'll tune into the Blackhawks game, always hoping
in the back of my mind the team wins and we can have at least one
Chicago team we can be proud of. But it wasn't until the playoffs that
I tried to make an effort to watch the games, sometimes inviting a
buddy over to join me. I was working the night of game six when the
Hawks played the Boston Bruins and was mopping prior to celebrating
their incredible win.
It wasn't long until I heard about Patrick Dahl's 17 Seconds, a
short-documentary that does an efficient job at creating a montage of
the celebration had by the team and the fans after this miraculous win.
The title refers to the conclusion of the final game in the
championship. The Bruins scored during the last few minutes, upping the
score 2-1 before the Hawks answered with a goal from Brian Bickell,
tying it again. When the game resumed, Dave Bolland scored again,
making it 3-2 Hawks with only a minute left in the game where the
Bruins were unable to respond. The two goals by Bickell and Bolland
happened within seventeen seconds of each other, grating the Hawks with
a nailbiting cut win - the second in four years.
17 Seconds shows the breathtaking conclusion of game six in Boston
along with the celebration the Hawks earned back home in Chicago and in
many of the players' specific hometowns. Dahl follows the team back
home, where a parade in downtown Chicago was held to honor the team's
win. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel states that 2.7 million people live in
the city and 2.5 million attended the parade. Of course, not everyone
in the city went to the parade, but many flocked from suburbs all over
Illinois. Think: almost the entire city of Chicago at one place, at one
time to support their hockey team. The allegiance and dedication is as
unfathomable as the team's win.
If anything, 17 Seconds should be viewed as a documentary that shows a
city experiencing unity after one big game. It was a day when people
came together to support and honor an incredible team (that started out
its series on a twenty-three game winning streak mind you). The film
shows just how seriously people take the sport of hockey in Chicago. I
couldn't help but recall last year's Stanley Cup finals where the Los
Angeles Kings were graced with the cup. Celebration in Los Angeles
consisted of, maybe, a large parking lot of Kings fans. Despite Los
Angeles being a humongous city like Chicago, their fanbase simply isn't
as large as Chicago's, nor does hockey seem to have the equal
prominence in Los Angeles that it does there either.
The last half hour shows how Hawk players like Duncan Keith, Patrick
Kane, Captain Jonathan Toews, Andrew Shaw, Patrick Sharp, and Bryan
Bickell spent their day with the cup in their hometown. Many had large
family get-togethers, some took it to the children's hospitals so those
less fortunate could take their mind off calamity for a little while,
but you can bet all took dozens of pictures of them and their families
hoisting, kissing, or posing with the cup in its glory.
17 Seconds is only fifty-three minutes and unfolds how most of us would
expect. There are no underlying themes to the film, no real
personalities develop when it comes to the players, an awful lot of
buzzwords used to describe the feeling of winning the Stanley Cup, and
so forth. The film isn't very surprising and unfolds like a highlight
reel of TV broadcasts from the day and the follow up days after the
Hawks won. However, even if you're not a Blackhawks fan, the film comes
giftwrapped in pride, unity, and happiness so much so that criticism of
any significant kind is difficult to dish out. The film is a nice
substitute for those NHL Stanley Cup Championship DVDs the NHL has
discontinued. But after witnessing Hawks fans celebrating, the city of
Chicago better brace themselves when the Chicago Cubs finally win.
Directed by: Patrick Dahl.
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